Celebrating Students ’13: Avery Trufelman

Over this summer, I interned at Air America. Yes, that is an airline, and yes, that’s also a movie starring Mel Gibson, but the Air America I worked at was a liberal talk radio station, with a line of hosts meant to counter the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. My internship was unpaid, but it wasn’t a hey-intern-go-get-some-coffee type of job. I actually got to contribute to the station’s blog by summarizing and commenting on current events. 

IMG_1610Naturally, it kept me really up to date on the news, since I had to read the paper every morning and constantly monitor news sites during the day. It was also pretty great to work in New York City all summer, since another component of my job was going to Union Square and interviewing people about their thoughts on the news for a series of videos Air America put on YouTube. I also got an opportunity to meet Lewis Black, who was interviewed on one of the shows, Montel Williams, who hosts his own show daily, and Wesleyan sophomore Adam Schlesinger, who just so happened to be interning with me.

I’ve learned that blogging isn’t just some snarky medium, and, over all, my internship inspired a lot of what I do here at Wesleyan. I’d like to continue with radio on WESU, to keep blogging on the beautiful Method Magazine website (www.methodmagazine.com), and, hopefully, to get back into the habit of reading the newspaper. Hopefully.

Celebrating Students ’13: Michael Conrad

You can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you came from. In my case I hadn’t met my entire family. My mother IMG_1608was an immigrant; she came to America from a poor Central American Country. At age 16 she entered high school not being able to speak a word of English. She graduated and went on to college. Coming from Honduras she was raised in a strict home that provided her with a “family over everything” attitude, as well as a mentality to work as hard as you can for everything and to appreciate all the opportunities given to you. Before embarking on my college journey, I felt it was necessary for me to find my roots and return to the place my mother and grandmother and aunts and uncles came from so I could proceed to make my family proud and return to Honduras a successful man. Seeing the family I had only seen in pictures and heard over the phone was almost as fulfilling as going on a missionary trip, or working at a soup kitchen. When I got there I had no idea what to expect, but when I left I realized what was expected of me and how much family I had to make proud. I left Honduras with so much motivation, so much drive to succeed in all aspects of my life. My twenty-one day trip was more of a realization than it was a vacation, and I will remember it for the rest of my life.

Celebrating Students ’13: Liza Messinger

I love corn, whether eaten grilled at my house or dipped in butter and salted at the Minnesota State Fair, but this summer is the first time I ever truly appreciated it because I dug, sweat, watered, and begged corn into existence on IMG_1609my family’s new plot at a Minneapolis community garden. As a sustainable garden, I couldn’t use power tools or synthetic fertilizers, so in the fashion of Little House on the Prairie, I used only a shovel and pitchfork to remove the sod, turn over the soil to add air, shape the beds, and plant corn, lettuce, beets, and peas. When sprouts started to appear, I was surprised to find how invested I was in the success of each plant. I knew where each new carrot shoot was, observed the bees pollinating the corn, and mourned the bug- eaten lettuce. So now whenever I bite into a corn cob, I taste the sweet kernels, but also the hard work of my summer, and the often forgotten work that someone did somewhere to grow the food on my plate.

Celebrating Students ’13: Hilary Hobel

No, I do not wear silver face paint nor am I one of the intense Raiders’ fans so brilliantly depicted on television. thumbnailCAZC0L98Instead, I am just a local to the Bay Area, and someone who got to participate in an organization I never would have imagined. This past summer, I had an internship with the Oakland Raiders, but no, I was not a Gatorade go-getter. Instead I took part in the business side of the organization. It was by no means glamorous, although, granted, I did get to go to an event in Los Angeles and guard the Super Bowl Trophies.  And, yes the Raiders do have Super Bowl wins! And yes, putting me in charge of the trophies may have been a silly idea, as most of the fans were twice my size and looked like they played football. But just so the Raiders’ fans know, the trophies are back under lock and key, so I guess I did my job. This internship was a great opportunity for me to see the interworking of not only a sports team, but also a business, and although I am not much of a football fan, I now greatly appreciate the Oakland Raiders and even the amount of work put into each luxury box ticket.

Celebrating Students ’13: Alex Speiser

Even though I’m a city boy, I have always loved the outdoors. I’m a sucker for the beauty of New York City- the raccoons of Central Park, the Cloisters, and the occasional clean, white pigeon- but have been fortunate enough over the last few years to leave the lower forty-eight and see some other countries. I spent a good chunk of this summer A. Speiserworking in the southern area of Costa Rica, the Golf of Dulce region, at a Wildlife Sanctuary, looking after orphaned, injured, and displaced animals. I built cages, led tours, and learned what goes into rehabilitating and subsequently releasing animals affected by the illegal wildlife trade. The preservation of Nature and curbing the effects of Global Warming have always been passions of mine and were further enhanced by this experience.

Meet Susan Kulesza, Administrative Assistant to Dean Brown

Dear Class of 2013,

Again, Welcome!  My name is Susan Kulesza (pronounced ku-less-a) and I’m the administrative assistant for your class dean, Dean Brown, and for Dean Garrett, who is the dean for the Class of 2011  You can find me in room 201, second floor of North College.  

susanI have enjoyed working with Wesleyan students and staff since 2001 and look forward to meeting and assisting you during your time at Wes.  If you need to schedule an appointment with Dean Brown, please contact me at 860-685-2758 or send an email to skulesza@wesleyan.edu.  Don’t forget to include your available dates and times so that I can find a time that is convenient for both of you.  I promise to get back to you quickly! 

If you are looking for a form, i.e. to transfer credit, change an advisor, apply for Education-in-the-Field or Independent Study credit, etc., please see me. I also assist in coordinating University prizes, so I may see you at the end of the school year too. If I don’t have what you need, I can direct you to the appropriate website, department or person.

Hope we’ll have a chance to meet soon – even if it’s just to say, “Hi!”  Regards, Susan

Sarah Lazare: Assoc. Dean for Student Academic Resources

Sarah Lazare, the associate dean for student academic resources, works in several capacities to help students achieve academic success at Wesleyan. She administers Disabilities Services, oversees the Student Academic Resource Network (SARN) and SARN Peer Advisors, and works with the Class Deans to provide academic support to Wes students of all class years. There are so many academic resources available to students that when students find themselves stumbling, all they have to do is ask. The Deans’ Office or any other SARN program can help them find a solution.

Dean Sarah started working at Wesleyan in December 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Smith s-lazare1College; a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and a law degree from CUNY School of Law. She worked at Smith College until 2000, where she also provided academic support services to students among her other responsibilities.  After graduating from CUNY School of Law, she served as their coordinator of Student Activities and Events for one year before practicing public interest law in Springfield, MA for two years. She found that she did not like courtroom trial work and missed working with students. After her two year appointment practicing law was up, she returned to higher education where she is again able to help students attain their dreams.

Come visit Dean Sarah on the garden level of North College (okay, the basement, really) in room 021.  You can drop by or make an appointment by writing to slazare@wesleyan.edu or calling x2332.

Religious and Spiritual Life on Campus

As the religious and spiritual advisors for students on campus, we would like to welcome you to Wesleyan.   

Spiritual life at Wesleyan is shaped by the wide range and depth of students’ questions and interests. Each of us five thumbnailca5y9ny9Chaplains/Advisors sponsors a weekly service.  All students are welcome and encouraged to attend any and all of these services, for which students assume many of the responsibilities of planning and leading.  The Chaplains also work together to sponsor multi-faith programming through the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL).

Students initiate and design many of the other religious and spiritual activities on campus through such organizations as the All-Campus Contemporary Gospel Worship, Wesleyan Jewish Community, Catholic Student Organization, Wesleyan Christian Fellowship, Muslim Student Association, Buddhist House, as well as many others.

In our role as Chaplains, we also serve as counselors, available to students to discuss personal, religious, social, academic, and vocational matters.  Our offices are located at 169 High Street (near Church St.) on the second floor.  A lounge is available for group meetings and quiet study.  Feel free to stop by, and for more information, see http://www.wesleyan.edu/chaplains .

Blessings,  Pastor Joan, Rabbi David, Sister Marwa, Father Hal, Advisor Jeff

Louise Brown, Dean for the Class of 2013

img_4626Louise Brown is the Dean for Academic Advancement and the Dean for the Class of 2013.  Hailing from Minnesota, Dean Brown graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in political science before earning her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the same discipline.  Prior to her work at Wesleyan, Dean Brown was at Connecticut College and Eugene Lang:  The New School for Liberal Studies (formerly part of the New School for Social Research).  Married to a great photographer, she has two kids, grows roses, and sings in a rock band (Busted Roses), among other things. 

So what does a class dean do?  A class dean monitors students’ progress towards graduation (although students are responsible for knowing and meeting the graduation requirements!), provides general academic advice and support, helps students to understand the academic regulations and resolve academic issues, and refers students to the appropriate resources on campus.  She works with students from their entry as first-years to their graduation as seniors, and so serves as a “go-to” person for students’ four years at Wesleyan.  Dean Brown also teaches in the government department when she has a chance.

Dean Brown holds regular drop-in hours and also is available by appointment.  She is excited to meet each member of the great Class of 2013, so do come to her office at 202 North College or call her at 685-2758 to set up a time to meet.

ResLife: Meet the Area Coordinators!

 Jonathan Connary — Clark, Fauver & West College

jon1Jonathan Connary joined the Wesleyan University Office of Residential Life team in the fall of 2007.  He is the Area Coordinator (AC) responsible for Clark Hall, Fauver Residence Hall, and West College.  Jon holds a Master of Education degree from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New England.  Students will often see Jon in the halls of Clark Hall, where he lives with his partner.  He enjoys traveling when he can and is a fan of HBO’s “True Blood.”  His best advice for first year students is to “take advantage of all the campus has to offer.”  Jon is always interested in getting to know the students in his area, so feel free to stop by his office in the basement of North College and say hello!

Sharise Brown — Butterfields, 200 Church & 156 High Street

Sharise Brown is the AC for the Butterfields, 200 Church and 156 High Street.  Originally from the Washington D.C. sharise_brownarea, Sharise completed her undergraduate degree in Communications at Simmons College in Boston.   Prior to coming to Wesleyan, she worked in student services at both Smith College and Penn State University.  Sharise has been a member of the Wesleyan ResLife team since August 2005.  She also is the proud mom of Christian, C.J. and Shalaya.  They live here on campus so don’t be surprised to see them at various events.   Sharise’s words of wisdom for new students:  “Try to be open-minded and respectful of yourself and others!  College is a place of education, compromise and communication.  Make sure you master all aspects throughout your time here.  We are all looking forward to helping you every step of the way!”   Visit Sharise in her office off the Butterfield A lounge.

Alex Cabal — Nicolson and Hewitt Halls

alex_jpgAlex Cabal joined the Wesleyan University Office of Residential Life team in August 2007 and is about to start his third year at Wesleyan.  Alex is the AC for Nicolson and Hewitt Halls, as well as some of our program housing communities.  He finished his graduate studies at Springfield College and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hartford.  Alex is a fan of the arts and has spent several summers working with the Center for Creative Youth, a summer pre-college program that offers talented high school students five weeks of intensive study in the arts here at Wesleyan. His words of wisdom for all students: “You always have choices.  It’s important to understand the consequences of them.” Students will often see Alex perusing the halls, and talking to residents. Always up for a good conversation, feel free to stop him in the halls or visit his office on the ground floor of Hewitt 8.